I’m between a hard place and another hard place. Which I guess means I am in a hard place. Stuck. Last week felt really pivotal. I felt like I had finally got some momentum, after speaking to my therapist for the first time about the abuse I suffered as a child.
I had never said those words aloud before. It was nauseating and the anxiety it brought up was unbelievable. But she was amazing. I didn’t know what I expected or needed from her, but when it came to the crunch I couldn’t have asked for more. She was solid and real and kind. She managed not to seem shocked and I needed that. I needed her not to be as repulsed by me as I am by myself.
As usual when I have an upsetting session, I wanted to use it as an excuse to be self-destructive. So I got drunk. But my wife came home and watched me like a hawk, so that’s where it stopped.
On Friday morning I had a very revealing and almost exciting meeting with a legal advocate from a rape and sexual abuse support charity. I wanted to ask her about the intricacies of making an historic prosecution. It was empowering to hear that it would be possible and the evidence would most likely convince the CPS to take up my case. I had also never considered the possibility of receiving financial compensation. After not being able to work for the majority of this year, and eating into our savings to fund my therapy, this made the prospect of reporting my abuser even more appealing.
But the wind was taken out of my sails almost as soon as they inflated. Because my abuser was my brother. And reading between the lines, I got the not-so-subtle message that taking this action would be tantamount to throwing a grenade into our family. It would force the people I care about into some hideous partisan conflict; demanding allegiances that would destroy relationships, turn me into a villain and have me rejected by the people whose acceptance I crave. So now I am back to feeling hopeless, powerless and isolated from the people I love most.
Hence the drawing I’ve attached. It’s scrappy I know, but it sums up a bit of how I feel.
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You are so brave. Can I ask, why do you crave “acceptance” from people who would “reject” you for your truth? An answer many of us seek. S
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Thank you for your kind words. I wish I knew why I need my family to accept my truth. I guess we are all conditioned to want our parents to be proud of us and support us. And for me it is also about validation. How can something be as bad as I think it was if nobody else feels the same way? I suppose I don’t trust my own judgement and my own understanding of the narrative.